Hernia: Causes and treatment

Clinical Advisor


From A Bigger Life

What is a hernia?

You have probably heard of the the risk of developing a hernia when you have a stoma but not understand what that means. Whenever the surgeon has formed your stoma he has brought it through a layer of muscle, in doing that there is then a defect in your abdominal wall. Because of that you are then at risk of developing a hernia. A hernia is where the actual bowel pushes through the defect in your abdominal wall and you would see it then as a swelling on the outside of your skin, around the stoma. A lot of people who are living with a hernia live active lives without it really interfering with their day to day life.

How to prevent a hernia

  • Try and avoid any heavy lifting in the first three months after surgery, lifting nothing heavier than a cup of tea.
  • If you have been interested in sporting activities before surgery and keen to get at them again, if they are vigorous activities it is important to wear a support belt to protect your abdominal muscles. It is not recommended to wear a support belt 24 hours a day because you want your own abdominal muscles to do the job that they are supposed to do, that is to protect your internal organs.
  • If you are going walking in the early days try and not wear a support belt, however if you find your are experiencing a dragging sensation in your abdomen, wear a support belt when you are out and about doing that. Do take the support belt off when you are back at home.
  • Prevention really is better than cure. If you do have a hernia and the surgeon feels that it needs to be operated on, you need to be aware that their is a greater risk of you developing another hernia after that first surgery.

Things to have in place before going into hospital for surgery Infographic

Personal Experiences

My Parastomal hernia has been caused (I believe) by a couple of factors, lifting heavy objects too soon after surgery, and being overweight… More 

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